Foot and ankle pain and sprains
Both foot sprains and foot strains are very common injuries, occurring as a result of sports accidents, falls, or other traumas. The difference between the two types of injuries is that sprains affect the ligaments, the thick strands of cartilage attaching one bone to another, and strains affect the muscles or the tendons, thick bands attaching muscle to bone. In both cases, the patient with the injury usually experiences pain (particularly upon movement), swelling, tenderness, bruising, weakness or muscle spasms. Foot sprains, the more serious injury, may also cause possible instability of the joint, most frequently the ankle. Depending on where on the foot the injury occurs, patients may be unable to bear weight until healing takes place.
Causes Of Foot Sprains And Strains
Diagnosis Of Foot Sprains And Strains
Treatment Of Foot Sprains And Strains
Mild foot sprains and strains can normally be successfully treated through the usual remedies of rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication is typically administered to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. In some circumstances, mild stretching exercises may be helpful.
While severe sprains may require complete immobilization with a cast, with lesser sprains and strains the patient may be able to walk with a bandage or brace, aided by a cane, or may not require any assistance. Most patients heal gradually from mild or moderate sprains in approximately 2 to 8 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury.
In the case of severe sprains or strains, a surgical repair may be necessary, in which case the recovery period may stretch to 3 months. After immobilization for a lesser injury or after surgery for a more severe one, a period of physical rehabilitation is necessary.